When Nick and Jesse Faris got the call that a liver was available for their daughter, they were overjoyed and immediately planned to book a flight from their hometown in Memphis, TN, to the hospital in Chicago. But there was one small problem — there was a blizzard in Chicago.
Jesse Faris told NBC that the word blizzard didn't register with her at first, so she said, "Absolutely, we want to try to make it . . . They [the hospital] wanted to offer us the chance to get there, but he didn't want to put us at risk."
Though some parents may have squashed the idea of flying altogether in a storm, both Jesse and Nick were adamant about bringing their daughter, Brooklyn, to Chicago. The little girl had a rare genetic disease called Alagille syndrome and had needed a liver transplant since her adoption from China almost a year ago.
"It became apparent we were going to have to be pretty creative," Jesse said after phoning the airline to hear that most flights were canceled due to the storm.
The couple quickly ran through their list of options from driving the eight hours to Chicago to boarding a private jet that would take the family to the hospital. Then one of their family friends suggested something totally out of the woods — booking a flight with FedEx. The company is known to sometimes fly out patients in emergencies from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which is also in Memphis.
And unlike passenger carries, FedEx had their own flight schedules and protocols for landing in weather advisory situations. After explaining their situation to a FedEx employee, FedEx agreed to fly the family out. They boarded a FedEx jet around 8 p.m. and landed in Chicago about an hour later.
"I do remember looking at Nick, and we were just shaking our heads because it was just completely surreal, the entire afternoon and evening events," said Jesse.
The wait for a new liver was finally over for the family when Brooklyn went into a 10-hour surgery the next morning. According to the Faris's Facebook page, the little girl is on the road to recovery and her ununusal journey is definitely one for the books.